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Sixers-Spurs observations: Non-existent defense, horrible shooting by team known for collapsing against formidable foes

Jimmy Butler missed 10 of 13 shots and finished with just six points.

Joel Embiid tries to shoot past the Spurs' Jakob Poeltl (left) and teammate Jimmy Butler during the first half of the Sixers' loss.
Joel Embiid tries to shoot past the Spurs' Jakob Poeltl (left) and teammate Jimmy Butler during the first half of the Sixers' loss.Read moreDarren Abate / AP

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The 76ers lost, 123-96, to the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center Monday night.

Here are my main takeaways and best and worst awards.

Four observations

Joel Embiid still has problems with fundamentally sound centers who can step out and consistently knock down shots. LaMarcus Aldridge dominated the matchup on both ends of the floor.

– The Sixers can’t stop perimeter players who can create to their own shots. Rudy Gay (21 points) and DeMar DeRozan could have scored 40 points apiece against the Sixers if not for San Antonio taking it easy after getting a sizable lead.

– Rookie guard Shake Milton is capable of receiving a full-time contract. Milton, who has a two-way deal, only played the final 8 minutes, 5 seconds in a game where the outcome was already decided. But he was one of the Sixers’ few bright spots. Milton is definitely an NBA player.

– Philly needs to make some upgrades to its bench. In games against solid squads, the backups are consistently getting outplayed by the opposing team’s bench. T.J. McConnell, Landry Shamet and Furkan Korkmaz – the Sixers top three reserve perimeter players- combined to shot 5-for-21 and were turnstiles on defense.

Best and worst awards

Best performance: I had to give this to Aldridge for dominating. He had 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go with a team-high 10 rebounds. The center also finished with a game-high three blocks.

Worst performance: This was a tough one, because a lot of Sixers played poorly. Jimmy Butler gets the award after missing 10 of his 13 shots to finish with six points.

Best defensive performance: This goes to Aldridge.

Worst statistic: I gave this to the Sixers making just 29.7 percent (11-for-37) of their three-pointers.

Best statistic: This goes to the Spurs shooting 56.3 percent from the field (49 of 87).

Worst of the worst: The Sixers looked like a team with no answers against a solid team. Winners of five of their last six games, the Spurs are better than their 16-15 record would indicate. Coach Brett Brown said the team didn’t play with spirit and Ben Simmons agreed. But Monday’s performance is starting to become the norm against formidable foes.